The shortest way home

Chapter 4

Kensi, Deeks and Sam walked into the bullpen giving Callen and little G some privacy, all of them concerned for the behavior of the younger version of their friend.

"I didn't mean to upset him," Kensi said looking stricken.

"I'm not sure you did," Sam told her.

"What do you mean, he's in there now sobbing, how is that not my fault?"Kensi asked.

"Did you guys hear what Callen said to him, Callen's rule number one?" Deeks asked.

"Always listen to your partner?" Sam said.

"No…he said their rule number 1 was 'Only trust yourself, no one else cares.' How awful could things have been if he thought that was his rule number one," Deeks said.

"Well he was in foster care, maybe he learned it there."

"So was I…I never had a rule like that."

Kensi and Sam looked at him, "You were in the system?" Sam asked, "You never said."

Deeks shrugged, "It was never a big deal, and I was in there from eleven to eighteen. Had two foster families both supportive and nice, the system got me a scholarship so I could go and do pre-law at university?"

"You were one of the lucky ones Mr. Deeks, unlike Mr. Callen, you still had relatives out there whom although they were unable to care for you they did keep tabs on your welfare and pulled strings so you got a stable placement." Hetty said looking through the open door where Callen was still comforting his younger self. "Mr. Callen didn't have that."

"What do we do Hetty?" Deeks asked.

"Listen to him, but don't push, If Callen wants your help with his younger self he'll find a way to show you, even if he can't bring himself to ask for it."

Callen walked out of the Gym with G standing just behind him.

"You guys ok?" Sam asked.

"We're good." Callen replied. G, not talking moved to sit at Callen's desk.

G slumped in the seat avoiding everyone's concerned looks. Callen walked past them and headed to the kitchen he needed a coffee and he knew his younger self would need a drink as well.

"You want a doughnut G?" Deeks asked as the youngster stared intently at the floor.

G wouldn't talk, "Come on G, save me, if you eat one then I won't, you can save my waistline."

G looked up and glared at them all.

"Please?" Sam asked.

G turned and stood up, "What the hell are you three doing?" he snapped.

All three of them grinned as they saw future glimpses of their team leader in the stance of the younger man before them. "We're just trying to cheer you up." Deeks grinned.

"Why?" G said, "just coz you think I'm weak, gonna cheer up the baby," He snapped glaring at them all but stepping away at the same time.

"No we don't think that at all, we do know you are going through a frightening time right now."

G laughed scornfully, "This…Frightening, this is a holiday, what I'm going back to, what you're all making me go back to that's frightening, you have no idea." He snarled. "And I'm supposed to trust you, because a huge hulk sized version of me said so…No way I'm outta here." G grabbed his bag and ran full pelt towards the door, screeching to a halt as he ran into Callen, sitting on a chair with his back to the main door, coffee in one hand and a soda by his feet.

"Thirsty," Callen said.

G glared at him, "This is just too messed up, I'm not doing it!" he turned and ran the other way ducking under Sam's legs as he tried to catch him.

Callen walked to his desk and placed his coffee and the soda can on top.

"You're not going to stop him?" Kensi asked.

"Nope." Callen went back and got his chair and placed it back where he'd taken it from.

"Why not?" Deeks asked.

"I ain't got nowhere to go, just have to work through it; none of us need to be there now." Callen said picking up a file and starting on some paperwork.

Kensi and Sam walked over to his desk, Deeks on their heels.

"He's a kid G, He's you, and you shouldn't be facing this alone."

Callen shrugged, "He just needs space, God guy's I know what I need." He sighed. "It's how I handled it last time,"

"He shouldn't have to do this alone…" Kensi reiterated.

Callen's patience was wearing thin today, he didn't know what was bugging him, he knew his team meant well but he also knew what he needed, and coddling was not it. "Just leave it!" he snapped turning back to his paperwork and ignoring everyone who was staring at him.

Kensi and Sam understanding sat back at their desks as Deeks walked off.

Deeks ignored what Callen said, walking around the building he noticed the door to the file burn room was ajar, he stood outside the door and heard a small sniff from inside.

"G?" He carefully pushed the door open and stuck his head in the darkened room.

G saw the door open and moved himself under a shelf making himself as small as possible. He scrunched his eyes closed really hoping that whoever was at the door would just go away.

"G, its Deeks." He said opening the door.

"'m fine…go away." G said.

Deeks walked in and crouched down in front of the boy who looked nothing like his fifteen years. "No you're not."

G wiped his eyes with his sleeve and looked up and the blond head of the older detective. "How'd you know?"

"Because you said it yourself, you're scared." Deeks said

"I…So. What if I am, what's it gotta do with you."G said putting a tough mask on and schooling his features.

"I'm your friend and you're hurting." Deeks said.

"I'll be fine,"

"So you keep saying, and I believe you I really do, all I'm saying is you don't have to go there alone."

In the bullpen Callen smiled…then his face clouded, "Oh no he didn't." he said.

He got up, "DEEKS!" He yelled and barreled for the file burn room with Sam and Kensi on his tail.

Running in the room he grabbed Deeks by the collar and dragged him out into the hall, "What the hell do you think you were doing?" he snarled.

"I thought I was helping a friend." Deeks stood up and dusted himself down.

"G what the hell?" Sam snapped at Callen.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to?" Little G said to Sam, not sure why the larger man was angry with him.

Sam looked at the G, "I…I meant the other you." He said and turned back to Callen.

"With me," he snapped, walking out of the door.

Callen followed out to the courtyard and as Sam turned to look at him he had to bite his lip to stop the grin that nearly formed on his face at the petulant look his partner was giving him.

"You think after all you have been through that little you needs to see big you getting violent with Deeks?" Sam asked.

Callen looked confused and Sam couldn't help it he did smile, "I ain't saying it again, it was darn confusing the first time." He admitted.

"Deeks shouldn't have done that."

"What did he do…?" Sam asked.

Callen turned away and mumbled something.


Callen paced up and down, "He made me….." he stopped and shot a look so bereft at Sam that he wanted to grab his partner and just console him.

"He made you what G?"

"He made me believe someone could actually care for me…He can't do that, I can't go back thinking that…it's too dangerous," Callen said quietly.

"People do care for you G." Sam said.

"I know that, 43 year old me knows these things, but 15 year old me doesn't and I have to send 15 year old me back to a world that doesn't care about me unless it's filling a quota on a child services form, a world where if I care about anyone or anything it's ripped away from me, sometimes it's days; sometimes its hours. I can't afford for 15 year old me to get soft…it…it makes it hurt too much." Callen said the pain in his voice evident.

Within moments Callen's whole demeanor changed, his eyes took on a cold look and he looked at Sam like he was a waste of space. "What do you want with me Hanna, I'm busy." He snapped his voice as cold and devoid of emotion as his eyes.

"What's changed?" Sam asked.

Callen stopped, "What?"

"You were all for us helping, training little you to go back face the big bad…whatever, you still haven't told us that yet, and we were going to make things better. Now you're stopping us from helping…and that new rule of yours, never heard that one before?" Sam said.

Callen looked at him strangely, "Of course you have, and I say it all the time. It's the reason why I've never come over to your house."

Sam was confused; Callen had stayed with him numerous times.

"I can and I will train myself, I only have myself to watch my back, don't pretend you care now." Callen's face looked decidedly hostile.

"G?" Sam said confused.

"My name is Callen, or have you forgotten that." Callen snapped. He turned on his heels and walked back into the building the younger version of him falling silently into line behind his older self.

"What happened to the bullpen?" Callen asked walking back in there, "Bloody place is going crazy." He snapped.

He walked over to his desk and turned it around so he had his back right up to the partition and he was facing the team, "So who did it, which one of you thought it was alright to mess with my desk?" he snarled.

The others looked at him like he was crazy.

"No one touched your desk Mr. Callen." Hetty said walking into the bullpen.

"I've told you before you old bat, I'll work here and I'll be your lackey, hell I have nothing better to do at the moment, but I ain't one of your 'special kids' so just leave me to do my job and you concentrate on the kiddy team there." He waved his arm at the others and went back to work. As he turned back to the others Hetty gave a gasp of surprise as a new long scar appeared down the side of Callen's face and neck.

"What?" Callen snapped.

"You've got a scar?" she breathed as the others looked on in shock.

"Jeeze Hetty, I've had that since I was a kid, you know that." Callen sighed, was the whole world going crazy, "It's why no one would adopt me and you couldn't use me as an undercover agent like you wanted."

"Mr. Callen…." Hetty said carefully, "If you're not part of their team, yet you work here, what pray tell, is your job?"

The others stood behind her as Callen looked at them like they were mad.

"Hetty, you know what my job is, I'm the assassin. I kill those that need to disappear, the only reason the kiddy squad here know is because you felt it necessary for them to know who was sharing the bullpen with them!"

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